Check out some of my favorite posts, found on my blog The Lucky Coast:
A collaboration of my written work published in Political Fiber, an online magazine that strengthens students’ ties to important issues through news and conversation.
When it comes to shopping, Lawrence is full of diamonds in the rough. But it takes someone with an eye for fashion and flare to mine the hidden gems—even if it once belonged in someone else’s closet.
Phil Chiles, owner of “Wildman Vintage”, verifies the old saying that one man’s trash really is another man’s treasure. Proving he’s just as eclectic as his store, Chiles talks about what it’s like to own one of Kansas’ top resale clothing stores: the highs and lows, the competition, and selling a $600 pair of jeans.
On a budget? With “Wildman” as their ‘go-to’ store, the fashionistas behind KU’s media sensation “Style On The Hill” show how easy it is to rock a style-savvy look for a next-to-nothing price.
The goal of every new mother is to make sure her baby is healthy. Since nursing can often times be tough, the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department is offering a weekly peer group and seminar for new moms currently breastfeeding.
The peer group, B.I.B.S. (Breast is Best Social), is designed to support all pregnant and breastfeeding moms in Douglas County. Lisa Horn, communications coordinator for the health department, says the main goal of B.I.B.S. is to be a resource for pregnant women seeking information about breastfeeding and to provide support to breastfeeding women; by peers, for peers. Since the first meeting last August, the group has received positive feedback from the community.
“For women new to nursing, we felt that meeting each week would increase the duration rates of breastfeeding,” Horn said. “The meeting time and frequency has proved to be convenient for working moms and students.”
Research has shown that peer support plays a huge role in women’s success at breastfeeding and its overall duration. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months and thereafter for as long as the mother and child desire.
“Increasing breastfeeding rates rates is a top public health issue because of the benefits it provides to mom and baby,” Horn said. “Breastfed babies have fewer illnesses, such as ear infections and allergies, and moms even have reduced risk factors for the most serious diseases for women including reproductive cancers, heart disease, and osteoporosis.”
The peer group is comprised of about 20-30 mothers, many of whom are working and even attending school. The mothers bring their children to every meeting so that they too can socialize with each other. Elizabeth Sedita-Laufer, certified breast educator and peer counselor, is in charge of leading discussions each week and answering any questions or concerns the moms may have.
“The main goal for us was to have a place in Douglas County for breastfeeding moms to come for advice, support, to ask questions, and to also have a place where they felt comfortable breastfeeding,” Sedita- Laufer said. “We want them to feel open about everything they are going through as moms.”
The women discuss a range of topics such as baby formulas, breast pumping, latching, and fixing any problem a mom may have with breastfeeding itself. Some other themes that emerge are the importance of remaining strong in the lens of social unacceptability as well as the importance of developing a close mother-child bond. Shannon Berquist, whose son Murphy is 11-months-old, has been attending the meetings since her first month of breastfeeding.
“When you breastfeed, it becomes your hobby and takes up a large portion of your time, so I wanted to be around other moms who were breastfeeding as much as I was,” Berquist said. “It’s just good to have a support group and I think it has really helped me and my son strengthen and continue our breastfeeding relationship.”
For the mothers who are currently taking classes, the B.I.B.S. meetings have been more than helpful. Naomi Cooper, a graduate student at the University of Kansas, has attended several meetings since the birth of her daughter last October.
“It was hard enough to juggle work and school with raising my daughter,” Cooper said. “When I began experiencing troubles (with breastfeeding), it was relieving to come to the meetings and talk with women going through the same thing. Everyone here is so supportive.”
The support group has definitely been successful with their mission to provide evidence-based information and support for these mothers.
“With every meeting welcomes a new mother and child,” Sedita-Laufer said. “Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing that brings a mother and her child together in the most natural way”.
A poll was cast that asked over 2,000 U.S. mothers what age their child was at the time they stopped breastfeeding. Below are the results:
Source: Parents Place
1. Stuck in a rut with the same old meals? Go exploring! Food and Wine names the world’s best food pilgrimages on their 2012 rendition of the annual “Go List”. Broaden your food horizon with various delicacies from top-notch restaurants all over the world. Curry Heaven in Bangkok, the Royal Mail Hotel in Australia, and La Huella in Uruguaya are at the top of the list.
2. Remember to think before you drink. New research showed that 1 in 4 Americans get at least 200 calories a fat from sugary drinks. According to CNN, some doctors say sugar is a toxin, and that sugar-containing beverages are considered “the low hanging fruit in public health today”. Doctors such as Dr. Sanjay Gupta are taking a critical look on sugar and the impact it has on our bodies.
3. Do you experience back pain? The professionals at Better Medicine reported ten new simple exercises to avoid back pain. With just fifteen minutes of back exercises three times a day increases strength and flexibility in your back, neck and shoulder muscles, making it less likely to injure your back.
4. Consider your blood type part of your diet. According to Get Fit Get Life, the new diet, the Blood Type Diet, has people debating the validity of the diet’s claims. According to Dr. Peter D’Adamo, who originally promoted the diet with his book “Eat Right For Your Type”, if you eat foods containing lectins incompatible with your blood type, you will experience inflammation, slower metabolism, and even diseases like cancer. The diet promotes eating foods with the proper lectins for your blood type in order to maintain health.
1. Veganism is getting vicious! Author Ruby Roth, a mom who writes children’s books about veganism, is getting slammed by critics for her new book, “Vegan is Love”, Opposing Views reported. The book scorns people for abusing animals by using them for clothing, medical testing, and of course, eating them. Critics claim the book is too impressionable for children to read, fearing that a child could become malnourished by choosing veganism.
2. Drinking on the job may be a little more acceptable thanks to the TV program, “Mad Men”. NPR reported that companies are now exploring the possible benefits of boozing on the clock. Just like the show, ABC’s Alan Farnan says more and more advertising agencies, including Grey Group and Mindshare, are providing employees have free access to liquor and beer while they are work.
3. Uh-oh! Stock up on your wine coolers now. According to Time, California grape prices are increasing significantly, and are expected to keep rising as a major grape-shortage prolongs. Not only does this mean higher prices on grape juice and jam, but fine wine sales are expected to increase by 7%-12% in 2012, Wine Spectator reports.
The day had finally come. After months of anticipation, Laura Waxman* takes one last look in the mirror. Within the next 24 hours, her body would completely change. She takes a deep breath and murmurs “bring it on”.
Laura Waxman is just one of over 700,000 patients worldwide who have received the stomach banding weight-loss surgery, known as the LAP-BAND system. Waxman, a junior at the University of Kansas, says making this decision was far from easy.
“I had to consider every possible health condition and precaution, because a surgery like this changes your life in all aspects,” Waxman said. “I did my research and found results. I did not want to be unhealthy and overweight any longer, I wanted to live my life feeling confident in my own skin.”
At an early age, Laura was uncomfortable with her body. As the only girl in a family of athletes, she often felt alone because no one could relate to her issues with self-esteem. It wasn’t until middle school when she realized her weight did not have to deprive her of a social life.
“I realized I would never be the prettiest or skinniest girl in the room, and I was fine with that,” she said. “I had other gifts to offer…I was the funny girl. I had a lot of friends and was invited to every weekend get-together. My weight was not going to take a toll on my social life.”
But by the time she was a freshmen in college, Laura did feel like something was missing.
“It was hard seeing my friends get invited to date parties and form serious relationships with guys,” she said. “At that point, there was nothing I wanted more than a boy to look at me as more than a friend. I was willing to do anything to improve my dating life.”
Determined to lose weight, Waxman did her research and found that the lap-band procedure was the best option for her, considering her goals and youthful lifestyle. The advantages of the band were appealing in more ways than one. For example, she would still be able to have children and remove it if necessary, which was her number one concern.
The results of the surgery are in fact efficient and life-changing. The trademark LAP-BAND system, which was first introduced in 1986, is the first adjustable gastric banding device approved by the Food and Drug Administration. It is revolutionary because it safely and effectively reduces the amount of food your stomach can hold at one time, which helps you gradually lose weight over a long period of time.
For Waxman, the immediacy of results was the deciding factor for weight-loss surgery, because dieting and exercise seemed to fail her in the past. Waxman’s father, Bill, said he supported his daughter’s decision but it would take months of proper preparation, especially for a younger patients like Laura.
“(Laura) and I met with professionals months in advance for guidance and advice,” he said. “As a dad, I wanted to be one-hundred-and-ten percent positive this was the right decision. Our physician provided us with a week-to-week plan with specific guidelines regarding diet and exercise, which was extremely helpful.”
Because the procedure demands such preparatory measures, most weight-loss surgical centers offer instructional pre-courses as well as support group meetings, where recipients can tell their success stories and confide in one another about life in their new body.
Dr. Nicole Fearring, a bariatric and general surgeon at Malley Surgical Center in Kansas City, says the procedure has far fewer risks and side effects than other weight-loss surgeries, such as gastric bypass.
“(The lap-band system) requires no cutting or stapling of any internal organs, which makes it the least invasive surgical option for weight-loss,” Fearring said. “If for any reason a patient needed it removed, the stomach will return to its original form, which is reassuring for any lap-band recipient to know.”
Now 85 pounds lighter, Laura feels better than ever. She continues to work hard everyday to maintain a healthy lifestyle in respect to her new body. Since the procedure, she has reformed herself. Not only does she have the body she’s always dreamed of, she is attending her first date party next weekend.
“I still can’t believe it every time I look in the mirror,” she said. “I can’t help but think, ‘Damn, I look good’!”
*names have been changed